What To Hold: 3 Hold-Rated Dividend Stocks SEAS, MIC, LXP

TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends which could subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.

TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.

These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

The following pages contain our analysis of 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Hold."

SeaWorld Entertainment

Dividend Yield: 5.60%

SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.60%.

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. operates as a theme park and entertainment company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 188.75.

The average volume for SeaWorld Entertainment has been 1,693,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. SeaWorld Entertainment has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are down 22.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates SeaWorld Entertainment as a hold. Among the primary strengths of the company is its revenue growth. At the same time, however, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 10.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.6%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Stable earnings per share over the past year indicate the company has sound management over its earnings and share float. However, the consensus estimates suggest that there will be an upward trend in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC reported lower earnings of $0.57 versus $0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.73 versus $0.57).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 92.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$43.60 million to -$84.05 million.
  • The gross profit margin for SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.32%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -38.16% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $32.23 million or 14.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing the cash generation rate to the industry average, the firm's growth is significantly lower.

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Macquarie Infrastructure

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

Macquarie Infrastructure (NYSE: MIC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

Macquarie Infrastructure Company LLC, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates, and invests in infrastructure businesses that provide services to businesses, government agencies, and individuals primarily in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 691.18.

The average volume for Macquarie Infrastructure has been 477,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Macquarie Infrastructure has a market cap of $6.1 billion and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 4.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Macquarie Infrastructure as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $148.57 million or 26.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.04%.
  • The gross profit margin for MACQUARIE INFRASTRUCTURE CP is rather high; currently it is at 62.28%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, MIC's net profit margin of 5.63% significantly trails the industry average.
  • MACQUARIE INFRASTRUCTURE CP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MACQUARIE INFRASTRUCTURE CP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.48 versus $14.70 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.62 versus -$1.48).
  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Transportation Infrastructure industry and the overall market, MACQUARIE INFRASTRUCTURE CP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • MIC has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 6.24% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, other than the push or pull of the broad market, we do not see anything in the company's numbers that may help reverse the decline experienced over the past 12 months. Despite the past decline, the stock is still selling for more than most others in its industry.

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Lexington Realty

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

Lexington Realty (NYSE: LXP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

Lexington Corporate Properties Trust operates as a self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT). The company acquires, owns, and manages a portfolio of office, industrial, and retail properties net-leased to corporate tenants in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.46.

The average volume for Lexington Realty has been 1,218,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lexington Realty has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 33.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Lexington Realty as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and increase in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's return on equity has been disappointing.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year, there is currently no conclusive evidence that warrants the purchase or sale of this stock.
  • LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. This trend suggests that the performance of the business is improving. During the past fiscal year, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $0.44 versus $0.17 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.47 versus $0.44).
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $59.22 million or 2.24% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 9.08%.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LEXINGTON REALTY TRUST's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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